Unattended men were never seen in the underwear department of Messrs Marks and Spencer unless in the company of formidable matrons whose capacity to wither a frisky thought at birth had been practised under their mother’s tutelage. In fact even a somewhat tottery thought asking vague questions about whether it was tea time yet would have been hard pressed to survive and would most likely have gone home for a sit down with an iced fancy instead. Extract from Fundamentals, one of the several ‘diary dramas’ recounted in Not Being First Fish by P. Spencer Beck. Find on Amazon UK & … Continue reading ‘Fundamentals’
Originally posted on paulgapper:
Forgive the irony, but sometimes you’ve got to grab a cliché with both hands. In Brain Pickings Weekly recently, they summarised the findings of Daniel Goleman in his book The Hidden Driver of Excellence. In short, he concludes that, contrary to received wisdom, just practising a new skills for ten thousand hours isn’t enough to become a genius. It needs to be a deliberate attempt to improve, often concentrating on just one aspect at a time. (And to keep that open to feedback.) As Stanley Donen, director of Singing in the Rain has said, ‘Talent is… Continue reading Writing Fiction: Raising the Bar
I am not a neuropsychologist so I’ve let the left brain-logic/right brain-creative issue ride. After all, that sort of simplification is not going to kill anyone and it might just help sometimes. But with the increase in focus – via everything from apps and exercises to meditation – on hauling your right brain out from under its mossy rock to perform in public, I’m pleased to see a nice clear and competent article that puts the matter straight. Christian Jarrett is editor of The Psychologist – the professional magazine outlet for the British Psychological Society – and he busts the … Continue reading Left brain, right brain – who’s really making it up?
Can you help with a very short survey? No pain involved and a whole lot of lovely gooey altruistic wonderfulness to gain by helping with my MA. Also the chest broadening feeling of having contributed to devastatingly original research when I post the results. You’ll do it? Oh WOW! Thank you! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NWPS69X Thank you everyone who took part, this survey is closed now, results up soon. Continue reading Itty bitty survey needs your help please
‘All the Birthdays’ is my entry for this year’s Lascaux flash competition. Submissions will start appearing on March 6th so if you fancy a jolly good wallow in loads of quick reads, or indeed popping in a bit of your own flash, that’s the place to go. ‘Doomcha Doof‘ was my 2012 entry and seemed to be judged pretty but baffling. Or maybe just pretty baffling. I’ve aimed this time for more clarity but will settle for better quality bafflement as a good second! Continue reading All the Birthdays
… and three come along at once. Well, five, if you count ‘Lovely Girls‘ and ‘No Arrests‘. In the last few days, Full of Crow have taken ‘Arthur’s Stone’ and expect to publish it in October; Read Short Fiction took ‘Baby Bird’ to put up in the Spring; and Zouche Magazine & Miscellany have picked up my essay, ‘A Tale of Two Sixties’ and scheduled it for some time in the next 5-6 weeks. All a little bit wonderful. Continue reading You wait ages …
Up on Hazard Cat now. And you thought I just wrote about psychopaths – pah! I’m updating this post because, actually, the story is pretty much fact rather than fiction. I have kept cats for many years and once had 13 Persians, part Persians, and odd mogs at the same time. Many were related as I bred Persians – at least that was the idea, although Eric the Ever Ready, a beat up wonky eared tom who camped outside my house, had other ideas. Of all of those, the only two who showed any real bond was a mother and … Continue reading ‘When Glorious Eyes Close’
..a large, brown, cardboard package containing letters, CDs, a study guide, a study calendar, a TMA form (a what?!), and a Serious Looking Book. My Open University Creative Writing course is about to kick off. So what was it about signing those papers, ticking the box marked yes and sending off a fat-ish cheque made them think I meant it?! Continue reading In the post today..
This time last year, I signed up for a twelve week Open University course on writing fiction and, hey ho, I’ve done it again. Thirty two weeks this time, creative writing, WITH POETRY – am I mad?! Sweepy Jean, your Gil Scott-Heron entry may have come in the nick of time – that kind of poetry I can relate to. But what’s this about biography and autobiography? Will I have to follow Fabio Cappello around while he negotiates his exit from England management? Or Rooney? Please, not Rooney, I don’t speak Scouse! Beckham though.. I’ve been faffing about considering this … Continue reading Gloves are off, now it’s serious..